Kahuna Rules

Game Overview

Kahuna - ancient sorcerers of the Pacific -want to find out who is more powerful. To this end, they compete to bring as many of the twelve islands as possible under their control. Both players build bridges between the islands of the South Sea. When a player has established a majority of the possible bridges to an island, as a sign of power, the player places a Kahuna token on the island

Goal of the Game

Three scoring rounds are played. When scoring takes place, you receive points if you have claimed more islands with Kahuna tokens
than your opponent. And if you have more points than your opponent at the end of the game, you gain control of the island kingdom and win the game.

Game Components

1 Game board depicting 12 islands interconnected by dotted lines
50 Kahuna bridges
(25 black and
25 white)
20 Kahuna tokens
(1O black and
1O white)
24 Island cards
(2 per island)


• Place the game board between the two players. Each player receives 25 bridges and 10 tokens of one color, which are placed in front of each player.
• One player shuffles all of the island cards and gives each player three face-down cards, which the players draw into their hand To get a better overall view, the cards should be held in such a way that their orientation matches that of the game board (the turtle and dolphin symbols on the board and on the cards help with alignment).
• Place three more cards face up beside the game board
• Organize the remaining island cards face down into a draw pile next to the three face-up cards.
• The player who more desperately needs a vacation begins. Afterward, the players alternate turns.


General rule: On your tum, you play any number of your island cards. You may also abstain by not playing any cards. Afterward, you draw one card However; your hand may not contain more than five cards at any given time.

1) Playing game cards

When you play a card, place a Kahuna bridge on a free connecting line from the island indicated on the card (marked in red) and leads to any neighboring island.

If you play multiple island cards, play the cards one at a time (except during the removal of Kahuna bridges, as explained in step 3).
If you want, you can abstain from playing a card

All played cards are placed on a discard pile.

If your hand contains five island cards and you cannot or do not want to play any island card(s), you must place one or more of your cards face down under the discard pile in order to draw a new card..

2)  Controlling Islands: Placing Kahuna Tokens

• If you have placed your own Kahuna bridges on more than half of an island's connecting lines, you have gained control after it Place one of your Kahuna tokens on this island

Note: The number of lines below the names of the is/ands on the cards indicates how many connecting lines (3, 4, 5, or 6) lead off the respective island..

Remove all of your opponent's Kahuna bridges connected to this island and return them to their owner.

Important The removal of kahuna bridges may cause a player to lose control of neighboring islands, with the result that he or· she must remove Kahuna tokens from these islands.

3) Removing Kahuna bridges

You can also remove one of your opponent's Kahuna bridges by playing two suitable island cards at the same time. To do this, you must play two cards that each show one of the two islands connected by the opponent's bridge. The two cards can show the same island or both islands.

Example: Tile connection between HUNA and ELAI can be severed by means of one of the following three pairs of cards: "HUNA - EIAI‚


If you can also play another suitable island card

(in the example, this card would be HUNA or ELAI) that allows you to place one of your Kahuna bridges on the connecting line you just removed your opponent's Kahuna bridge from, the implications can be far-reaching 

At the end of your tum, draw one card. Regardless of whether you have played no cards, one card, or multiple cards, you may only draw one card

Either take one of the three face-up cards and immediately replace that card with one from the facedown draw pile or draw the top island card from the face-down draw pile.

You may abstain from drawing a card, unless your opponent has abstained from drawing a card on his tum immediately before.

If your hand already contains five cards, you are not allowed to draw another card. If your opponent has abstained from drawing a card on his tum immediately before and your hand contains five cards, you have to play or discard at least one card so you can draw a card at the end of your tum.
Once you have drawn a card, your turn ends.

Interim Scoring 

• There are two interim scorings. Once the face­down draw pile is depleted and the last of the three face-up island cards has been drawn, the players briefly interrupt the game.
• Each player counts the islands he or she has marked with his or her Kahuna tokens.
• If there is a tie, none of the players receives a point
• In the first interim scoring. the player who has more Kahuna tokens on the game board receives one point
• In the second interim scoring. the player who has more kahuna tokens on the game board receives two points.
• Each player should make a mental note of his or her score or write it down on a piece of paper.
• Afterward, shuffle the island cards of the discard pile, create a new draw pile and once again place three cards face up.
• Both players keep the cards they already have in their hands.
• The turn of the player who triggered the interim scoring ends and the other player takes his or her turn.


Final Scoring and End of the Game

When the draw pile is depleted for the third time and the last of the three face-up island cards has been drawn, each player takes one more tum. This is the last time they can play their cards. Afterward, the final scoring takes place. The rules for the final scoring are different than the rules for interim scoring.

Once more, each player counts the Kahuna tokens he or she has on the game board. The player with more tokens receives points equal to the difference between the players' token counts.

The player with the higher point total from the two interim scorings plus the final scoring wins the game. In case of a tie, the winner is the player with the higher point total in the final scoring. If, after the three scorings, both players have zero points, the player who has more bridges on the game board wins. If there is still a tie, there is no winner.

Premature End of the Game

If, during the second or third scoring round, one of the players no longer has: any Kahuna bridges on the game board, the game ends prematurely. In this case, the other player wins.

Variant 1

If you want to play the game with fewer surprise effects and proceed more strategically, you can change the rules as follows:

A player may only place a Kahuna bridge on a free connecting line between two islands if none of these two islands is under the opponent's control (none of them is marked with one of his or her Kahuna tokens). If a player can remove a Kahuna bridge by playing two suitable island cards, he or she may place one of his or her own Kahuna bridges on the connecting line that has thereby become available, without playing an additional card Here, too, he or she may only place the bridge if none of the two islands is under the opponent's control.

Variant 2

If you want a game that relies more on tactics and less on luck, you can use the following variant

If a player draws a card face up, he or she must place it face up in front of himself. He or she may play it like the cards in his or her hand, and it also counts as a card in his or her hand

Handicap Play

When an experienced player plays with a beginner or when it becomes apparent that the players have different playing abilities, they can also play with a handicap. In this case, after dealing the cards the less experienced player may place one, two, or three bridges of his or her color on any connecting line of his or her choice, depending on the agreement.

The Game Designer

Gunter Cornett was born in 1960 in Flensburg, Germany, and live in
Berlin. Among other things, he has been a professional driver, garden
worker; and game salesman. He works as a game reviewer and in multimedia.. He dedicates his free time to kayaking, the Internet, and 'BambusSpiel-erlag,• his own independent game publishing house, which originally published several hundred copies of this fascinating two-player game with a different graphic design and under a different name.

The game designer and publisher thank the many game testers and people who reviewed the game rules.

Art: Claus Stephan
Graphic Design: Pohl & Rick